Tuesday, January 2, 2024

This Is Not a Christmas Book!


TITLE: Wreck the Halls
AUTHOR: Tessa Bailey
PUBLISHING DATE: October 3, 2023
PAGES: 352   

FROM GOODREADS: Melody Gallard may be the daughter of music royalty, but her world is far from glamorous. She spends her days restoring old books and avoiding the limelight (one awkward tabloid photo was enough, thanks). But when a producer offers her a lot of money to reunite her mother’s band on live tv, Mel begins to wonder if it’s time to rattle the cage, shake up her quiet life… and see him again. The only other person who could wrangle the rock and roll divas. 
Beat Dawkins, the lead singer’s son, is Melody’s opposite—the camera loves him, he could charm the pants off anyone, and his mom is not a potential cult leader. Still, they might have been best friends if not for the legendary feud that broke up the band. When they met as teenagers, Mel felt an instant spark, but it’s nothing compared to the wild, intense attraction that builds as they embark on a madcap mission to convince their mothers to perform one last show. 
While dealing with rock star shenanigans, a 24-hour film crew, brawling Santas, and mobs of adoring fans, Mel starts to step out of her comfort zone. With Beat by her side, cheering her on, she’s never felt so understood. But Christmas Eve is fast approaching, and a decades-old scandal is poised to wreck everything—the Steel Birds reunion, their relationships with their mothers, and their newfound love.

MY THOUGHTS: This year Tessa Bailey kind of became my go-to author when I needed a break from the dark horror and thriller novels I usually gravitate toward.  I feel in love with her quirky characters and sometimes often steamy scenes which made me forget serial killers, blood and gore for even a little while.  That's why I was so excited she was coming out with a holiday read just in time for my self-imposed holiday reading frenzy.  But then I saw several reviews mentioning people being disappointed including lamented the fact that this book is NOT a Christmas tale, despite being marketed as one. So I didn't read it - that is until New Year's, when Christmas was long gone and guess what, I found myself enjoying this almost as much as my other reads of her works.  

Melody and Beat are the offspring of the two main individuals in a famous rock and roll band 30 plus years ago.  The band, Steel Birds, were infamous and their infamy was fueled by the fact that suddenly broke up and never spoke to each other again.  Fast forward 31 years ago and the public remains enamored with the band and just like the way of the world, a production company wants to do a reality show around a reunion.  Melody and Beat, who have seen each other in 15 years team up to do the impossible - Beat because he needs the million dollars to pay off a blackmailer or else his parents' world will crumble and Melody, because she is tired of her hit and miss mother who only sees her once a year at February.  Can they do the impossible, and how long before they can't live without each other?  SMALL SPOILER ALERT - not long at all!

I believe knowing what I did about so many people being disappointed that this was a Christmas tale, led to me actually being able to enjoy the book.  I had absolutely no holiday expectations.  Sure, the book is set in December, but by no way does it promise Christmas romance or shenanigans.  However, as much as I enjoyed it, there were a few issues.  For one, Beat has one of the most unique sexual hangups I've ever read about in a book.  And honestly, perhaps it's not that unique but personally, I had no exposure to it previously.  And second, this book takes insta-love to a whole new level.  Melody and Beat meet once for a brief 5-10 minutes when they are 16 and now, 15 years later, they reconnect and immediately feel they have found their other half, and both recall how connected they felty during their one encounter and secretly they both start thinking they are meant to be together.  It was a tad annoying.

All that being said, things happen in the book which go on to either explain things, so I understood where the characters were coming from and why they behaved as they did.  So is Wreck the Halls a perfect book, no, but it also isn't a Christmas book and if you can put that notion aside, you might just enjoy it like I did.



  1. Despite the instalove thing, this sounds really fun. Especially now that Christmas is all over. ;D

  2. I guess it's a good thing you knew about the "non Christmas" theme going in. I do love stories about bands, but the instalove might bug me too.

  3. Glad you were able to enjoy it. I've read and liked some books by this author.